The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Election Commission on petitions filed by breakaway AIADMK leaders TTV Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala challenging the order of Delhi High Court dismissing their petitions in connection with dispute over the party’s ‘two leaves’ election symbol. The apex court has directed the EC to file its response before March 25.
Dhinakaran had last week filed the appeal in the Supreme Court. The Delhi high court had earlier upheld the Election Commission’s order that granted the symbol of the AIADMK to the faction led by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Dhinakaran now heads the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) party. The Delhi HC had in November 2017 upheld the EC decision saying that none of the grounds of challenge raised by the Dhinakaran-Sasikala faction were made out and there was “no infirmity” in the poll panel’s order allotting the party name and symbol to the group led by Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
Dhinakaran, a claimant for the legacy of former CM Jayalalithaa, had launched the AMMK after being ousted from the AIADMK along with Sasikala in September 2017. The EC has allotted the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol, as an interim measure, to Dhinakaran faction last year during the by-poll to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency which he won with a thumping 40,000 votes margin.
—India Legal Bureau
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